Hensoldt UK, a provider of sensor solutions, has been entrusted with outfitting the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s (RFA) forthcoming Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships.

The collaboration with Navantia UK will see the integration of technologies to fortify the operations of the Royal Navy’s assets.

Last year, the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) anticipated an eight-year wait until its new FSS ships commence service. The FSS programme, set to deliver three logistics vessels, is an investment aimed at bolstering the RFA’s capabilities in supporting UK carrier strike groups and allied operations globally. Following this, RFA Diligence was retired with no direct replacement. 

The foundation of this endeavour lies in implementing HENSOLDT’s Quadome Naval 3D Air and Surface Surveillance Radar. Featuring software-defined active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology, the Quadome radar provides operational performance that is cheaper than that of traditional radar systems. Its capabilities, including simultaneous 3D air and surface surveillance, are poised to offer detection and tracking capabilities that are important for modern naval operations.

Moreover, HENSOLDT will supply its latest Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, augmenting the vessels’ ability to navigate airspace. Complementing these advancements is the integration of Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems (INBS), which provides navigation and situational awareness through SharpEye naval navigation radars and multifunction displays.

Hensoldt UK has been delivering systems to various naval forces worldwide. It supplied the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Aotearoa with a INBS. Similarly, in South Africa, it equipped the South African Navy’s Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) with SharpEye radars, enhancing navigation and situational awareness. 

Meanwhile, the French Navy also selected Hensoldt UK to deliver Kelvin Hughes Mk11 SharpEye surface search radars for its Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer (POM) vessels. 

The significance of these contracts extends beyond technological advancements. HENSOLDT is committed to creating at least 50 highly skilled jobs and investing more than £1m in its Enfield facilities. 

Peter Dillon, managing director of HENSOLDT UK, confirmed: “We are set to establish a new Quadome radar support and test facility at our Enfield factory, utilising UK supply chain support. This will provide local maintenance, repair and support services to Navantia and the UK RFA while creating new employment opportunities in the area.”